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1.S: Discussion Quesions and Glossary

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    5145
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    DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1. Laura Nader explains that examining cultural assumptions is the main motivation for anthropologists. Why is this kind of examination important? What does she mean when she says that anthropologists should study “up, down, and sideways”?

    2. This chapter describes several specializations, or areas of expertise, that have developed in anthropology, including investigations of both science and law. In what ways can science and law be analyzed as products of culture?

    3. In the conclusion, Laura Nader writes that anthropology “values both detachment and engagement.” Why is this particularly challenging in a profession that relies on participant observation research?

    GLOSSARY

    • Area studies: a way of organizing research and academic programs around world regions such as Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, China, Latin America, and Europe.
    • Coercive harmony: an approach to dispute resolution that emphasizes compromise and consensus rather than confrontation and results in the marginalization of dissent (harmony ideology) and the repression of demands for justice.
    • Cultural determinism: the idea that behavioral differences are a result of cultural, not racial or genetic causes.
    • Cultural relativism: the idea that we should seek to understand another person’s beliefs and behaviors from the perspective of their own culture and not our own.
    • Ethnocentrism: the tendency to view one’s own culture as most important and correct and as the stick by which to measure all other cultures.
    • Functionalist: an approach developed in British anthropology that emphasized the ways that the parts of a society work together to support the functioning of the whole.
    • Holism: taking a broad view of the historical, environmental, and cultural foundations of behavior.
    • Participant observation: a type of observation in which the anthropologist observes while participating in the same activities in which her informants are engaged.
    • Plasticity: refers to the human capacity to learn any language or culture.
    • World Systems Theory: an approach to social science and history that involves examination of the development and functioning of the world economic system.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Laura Nader is a Professor of sociocultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Nader’s current work focuses on how central dogmas are made and how they work in law, energy science, and anthropology. She has published several books on conflict resolution and the law including Harmony Ideology: Justice and Control in a Mountain Zapotec Village (1990) and The Life of the Law: Anthropological Projects (2002). She has also conducted research in the anthropology of science, with a particular focus on energy. Her books Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry into Boundaries, Power, and Knowledge (1996) and The Energy Reader (2010) are two examples of her work on these topics. She has also produced ethnographic films, including the 2012 film Losing Knowledge: 50 Years of Change, which explores the ways in which indigenous knowledge is vanishing. Dr. Nader is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received numerous awards and honors including the CoGEA Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Harry J. Kalven, Jr. award from the Law and Society Association

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    NOTES

    1. Edward Burnett Tylor, Primitive Culture (London: John Murray, 1871), 1.

    2. Franz Boas, “The History of Anthropology,” in Congress of Arts and Science, Universal Exposition St. Louis, Vol. 5 (New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1905), 451.

    3. Laura Nader, Culture and Dignity (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 51.

    4. Sidney Mintz, “‘Sows’ Ears and Silver Linings:’ The 1996 AAA Distinguished Lecture,” Current Anthropology 41 (2): 169–89.

    5. Antonio De Lauri, The Politics of Humanitarianism: Power, Ideology and Aid (London: Tauris, 2015).

    6. See for example Rachel Stryker and Roberto Gonzales, Up, Down and Sideways: Anthropologists Trace the Pathways of Power (New York: Berghahn Books, 2014).

    7. See for example Ashraf Ghani, “Writing a History of Power: An Examination of Eric R. Wolf’s Anthropological Quest” in Articulating Hidden Histories: Exploring the Influence of Eric R. Wolf, ed. Jane Schneider and Rayna Rapp (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).

    8. See for example Hugh Gusterson, Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996) and Joseph Masco, The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2006).

    9. Eric R. Wolf, “They Divide and Subdivide, and Call It Anthropology,” The New York Times, November 30, 1980, E9.

    10. See for example Ellen Hertz, The Trading Crowd: An Ethnography of the Shanghai Stock Market (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) and Gillian Tett, Fool’s Gold: The Inside Story of J.P. Morgan and How Wall Street Greed Corrupted Its Bold Dream and Created a Financial Catastrophe (New York: Free Press, 2010).

    11. Annelise Riles, Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2011).

    12. See for example Bill Maurer, Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005) and Ibrahim Warde, Islamic Banking in the Global Economy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000).

    13. Charles Brigg and Clara Mantini-Briggs. Stories in the Time of Cholera: Racial Profiling during a Medical Nightmare (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003) and Chris Shore and Susan Wright, eds., Anthropology of Policy: Critical Perspectives on Governance and Power (New York: Routledge, 1997).

    14. Margaret Lock, Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) and Lawrence Cohen, No Aging in India: Alzheimer’s, the Bad Family, and Other Modern Things (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

    15. Laura Nader, The Energy Reader (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2010).

    16. The examples here come from several publications by Laura Nader. See Laura Nader, “The ADR Explosion: The Implications of Rhetoric in Legal Reform,” in Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice (Ontario: University of Windsor, 1989), 269–291; Harmony Ideology: Justice and Control in a Zapotec Mountain Village (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990); “Civilization and Its Negotiators” in Understanding Disputes: The Politics of Law, ed. Pat Kaplan (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1995); “Controlling Processes: Tracing the Dynamic Components of Power and Knowledge” Current Anthropology 38 (1997): 711–737. For further discussion of Native American negotiations with the government over nuclear waste, see Jay Ou, “Native Americans and the Monitored Retrievable Storage Plan for Nuclear Wastes: Hate Capitalism, Negotiation, and Controlling Processes,” in Essays on Controlling Processes, ed. Laura Nader. (Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers, No. 80, 1996).

    17. Marc Auge, A Sense for the Other: The Timeliness and Relevance of Anthropology, A. Jacob, trans. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998).

    18. Linda Coco, “Mortgaging Human Potential: Student Indebtedness and the Practices of the Neoliberal State,” Southwestern Law Review, 42 (3) 2013.

    19. The two examples cited here are Sharon Traweek, Beamtimes and Lifetimes: The World of High Energy Physicists (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988) and Pamela Asquith, “Japanese Science and Western Hegemonies: Primatology and the Limits Set to Questions,” in Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry into Boundaries, Power and Knowledge, ed. Laura Nader (New York: Routledge, 1996).

    20. Paul Richards, Indigenous Agricultural Revolution: Ecology and Food Crops in West Africa (London: Westview Press, 1985).

    21. Kendall Thu and E. Paul Durrenberger, eds. Pigs, Profits, and Rural Communities (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998), 2.

    22. Stanley Tambiah, Magic, Science, Religion and the Scope of Rationality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

    23. Laura Nader, What the Rest Think of the West: Since 600 A.D. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015).

    24. Discussion of Oaxaca, Mexico is found in Laura Nader, Harmony Ideology: Justice and Control in a Zapotec Mountain Village (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990). The Chiapas, Mexico example is from Jane F. Collier, Courtship and Marriage in Zinacantan, Chiapas, Mexico (New Orleans: Middle American Research Institute, 1968). Analysis of these dynamics in Hawaii is found in Sally Merry, Colonizing Hawaii’: The Cultural Power of Law (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

    25. Laura Nader, The Life of the Law: Anthropological Projects (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).

    26. Neil Whitehead and Sverker Finnstrom, eds. Virtual War and Magical Death: Technologies and Imaginaries for Terror and Killing (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013).

    27. See for example Elizabeth Colson, “The Social History of an Epidemic: HIV/AIDS in Gwembe Valley, Zambia,” in Morality, Hope and Grief: Anthropologies of AIDS in Africa, ed. Hansjorg Dilger and Ute Luig, 127–147 (New York: Bergahn Books, 2010). Additional perspectives on Colson’s work can be found in Elizabeth Colson, “Anthropology and a Lifetime of Observation,” an oral history conducted in 2000–2001 by Suzanne Reiss. Regional Oral History Office (The Bancroft Library: University of California, Berkeley, 2002).

    28. James Holston, The Modernist City: An Anthropological Critique of Brasilia (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989).

    29. For more information about Cahokia, see Alice Kehoe, The Land of Prehistory: A Critical History of American Archeology (New York: Routledge, 1998) and Timothy R. Pauketat, Cahokia: Ancient America’s Great City on the Mississippi (New York: Viking-Penguin, 2009).

    30. Paul Farmer, Aids and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).

    31. See for example Dell Hymes, ed., Reinventing Anthropology.

    32. See for example Alan Dundes, The Study of Folklore (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1965) and International Folkloristics: Classical Contributions by the Founders of Folklore (Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999).